Why 95% of Blogs Fail

I’ve started a few blogs before.

They all failed within a few months. I worked for hours to make my “best content.” I waited. And waited. But nobody came. It was frustrating. I thought I was a bad writer. So I quit.

But that wasn’t it. I wasn’t a bad writer. I was just making mistakes—the same mistakes that 95% of bloggers make. And that is why they fail.

Here are some common ones…

They don’t test assumptions

Failing bloggers blow hundreds of dollars into domains, site design, hosting, and SEO before they know if their idea will even work.

There are over 3 million blog posts written every day. Where’s the proof that yours will do well?

First, make sure your blog’s niche, writing style and unique angle actually work. Treat your blog like an early-stage startup: validate your ideas first, then spend the big money.

They do fake work

It’s the Internet age. There are thousands of things bloggers can be tweaking: site design, headlines, buttons, word counts, keywords…it goes on and on forever.

Unfortunately, 99% of these ‘tweaks’ don’t matter at all. Bloggers spend hours tweaking trivialities and then scratch their heads wondering why no results happened.

Most things don’t matter. Here’s what does:

  • Making your content better than everyone else’s
  • Putting your work in front of people
  • Building a readership

Your time and resources are limited. Only tweak what needs tweaking.

They write for themselves

“There is only one thing that you write for yourself, and that is a shopping list.” —Umberto Eco

Your blog isn’t a private journal. Whether people admit it openly or not, they write on the Internet because, deep down, they want to be read.

Make your writing about other people, for other people.

Some questions to ask:

  • Who is my target audience? Make it ONE person. What does he do? Where does he live? What’s his income range? Where does he spend all his time on the Internet? Figure out way more details than you need—then you’ll have just enough.
  • What unique value am I adding? Write down three things: (1) what you love to do, (2) what you are good at and (3) what your target audience needs. Find what lies at the intersection of these three, and the magic happens.

They don’t understand the game

Let’s face it. You blog because you want people to read your content, come to your platform and engage with you. So does every other blogger out there.

The blogging word is harsh. We’re all playing to win. If you want to do well, you need to know how the game is played.

If you don’t know how to earn attention, where people gather, or the tools and tactics your competition is using… You’re playing a loser’s game.

Don’t let that happen. Study the art of blogging.

They’re greedy

Successful bloggers come in many colors, but they all share one common trait—they give (almost) all of their content away for free.

If any decent publication wants to syndicate my content, I always say yes. Leo Babauta does the same thing with his “Uncopyright”—anyone who wants his stuff can have it. No questions asked and no referrals needed.

You won’t get anywhere by hoarding value. Make the switch to providing incredible value instead.

They don’t create a conversation

Congratulations! You got some readers to come to your site.

What’s next for them? They click the “Home” button and leave your site forever… Most bloggers focus way too much on traffic. It’s a leaky funnel with no end.

Of course, you need people to come to your site. But of equal (or greater) importance is building a community of loyal readers that keep coming back over and over again.

They copy

Over 90% of blogs fail. To be an “average” blog is to fail. By definition, if you do what everybody else is doing, you will get average results.

To make a successful blog, you must do things differently. This can be with target audience, with content quality, with design, with marketing or with something else that nobody has caught of yet.

Whatever you do, don’t copy. And whatever you do, make it the best there is.

9 Out of 10 Bloggers Make the Same Mistakes

It’s not a bad thing to dive in face-first and learn everything through failure. But just in case you’re interested in saving years of failed experimentation, check out my new guide. It’s got all the tips and tactics I used to grow a high-traffic blog with 100k monthly readers in less than 3 months.

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